Dr. Bennie I. Osburn, dean of the University of California-Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, announced Oct. 1 that he will retire in the summer of 2011, when he completes his third term as dean.
For 14 years Dr. Osburn has served as dean of the veterinary school. A national search for his successor will start before the end of the year, according to provost and executive vice chancellor Enrique Lavernia.
Dr. Bennie I. Osburn
Dr. Osburn became dean of the veterinary school in 1996. During his tenure, he oversaw a $50 million fundraising campaign and helped guide a $354 million long-range facilities plan for the school, which will be nearing completion as he leaves the dean's office.
According to a school press release, Dr. Osburn also increased annual research funding from $46 million in 1996 to $109 million in 2010 and raised more than $200 million in private support. He recruited 90 new faculty members and more than 150 adjunct faculty, scientists, and lecturers. Plus, he enlarged the DVM-degree program from 108 to 131 students per class each year to help California address workforce shortages in several sectors of the veterinary profession.
Dr. Osburn joined the UC-Davis faculty in 1970. In addition to his teaching and research activities, he served as the veterinary school's associate dean for research and graduate education for 20 years and as interim director of the Veterinary Medicine Teaching and Research Center in Tulare, Calif., from 1996-2000.
Dr. Osburn graduated from Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine in 1961, received his doctorate in comparative pathology from UC-Davis in 1965, and served as a research fellow at Johns Hopkins University.
In the press release, Dr. Osburn said he plans to continue to advocate for the school to maintain its position at the forefront of veterinary education and to broaden public perception of veterinary medicine's essential role in animal, public, and environmental health.